In an interview with Russian news outlet Vedomosti, Bernie Ecclestone claims, "I have never encountered corruption in Russia." Why, Bernie is so impressed with Putin's leadership abilities that he thinks Putin could lead a few other places, too.

To play devil's advocate for a bit (because really, that's not too far off), the inaugural modern Russian Grand Prix appears to be a hit. The race is exactly 100 years after the previous Russian Grand Prix at a circuit in St. Petersburg. Drivers say that they're enjoying the brand new Sochi circuit.

For Daniil Kyvat, who is poised to move up to the main Red Bull team from Scuderia Toro Rosso next year, this is a home race. Test driver Sergey Sirotkin also hails from Mother Russia. I can't say that we're not jealous of the whole "a driver from this country is actually racing in our grand prix" bit, either.

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There's something about Russia's tendency to meddle in the affairs of Ukranians, attitude towards free speech and other human rights and dislike of American poultry that says I might not want to live there, though. Sochi itself even has quite a tumultuous history of its own, with war practically at its doorstep as late as 2008.

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So, in a move that surprises exactly no one, quite corrupt Formula One figurehead Bernie Ecclestone said that Putin is a "very good" businessman and a "first-class man."

"I have always supported him and what he does," remarked Ecclestone of Putin. Vedomosti paraphrased the rest of Putin's remarks as such:

Perhaps Putin could rule Europe or America, "but I think he's busy," joked Ecclestone.

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Yeah, we're gonna have to say no to that one. I think Europe might object as well.

As for Putin and Ecclestone, however, you have to admit that they make a cute couple. Not a couple I'd want to do business with, but they're made for each other, regardless.

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Photo credit: AP Images